Upon our arrival at The Jetty, the Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa’s stunning restaurant, we knew this would be a dining experience to remember. The central Bristol hotel precedes itself, offering a first-rate stay. Our first impression of the dining room was of luxury and sophistication; the impressive Gold Bar, modern tables with teal velvet love seats, and stunning architecture combine to make this award-winning restaurant a timelessly opulent space in which to dine. The Jetty’s nautical theme adds a splash of colour and uniqueness, but there’s not a design cliché in sight. An upbeat summery soundtrack quickly diffuses any air of stuffiness, while the friendly team put diners at ease from the get-go.

Once seated, we were offered a drink from the Gold Bar’s impressively varied menu. A non-alcoholic cocktail called the Rosmaretty, comprising apple, elderflower, blackberries, rosemary and ginger, took my partner’s fancy. The cocktail list offers an impressive array of options to suit all tastes and the barman was keen to show of his flair, whipping me up a surprise cocktail to suit my preferences.

The Jetty’s new menus are sure to leave you spoilt for choice. From noon until 7.30pm, an express menu is perfect for lunch or diners with post-dinner plans. The a la carte runs alongside from noon until close. Contentedly relaxed, we studied the à la carte carefully before settling on a few bites to share, including beautifully seasoned tempura vegetables and sumptuous hand-chopped steak tartare topped with a hen’s egg yolk and enhanced by delicious homemade tomato ketchup. If we thought this was beautifully presented, the scallop served atop fiery ‘nduja sausage, samphire and lemon in a half shell was a stunning surprise. The flavoursome house red complimented the spice of the sausage and the richness of beef perfectly.

The kitchen team clearly has a passion for fresh, British seafood and prime cuts of steak, so it only felt right to sample something from both pasture and sea. Ever the traditionalist, my partner opted for the cooked-to-perfection sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and skinny fries; there was something for all meat-lovers on the menu from the classic Chateaubriand to share to sumptuous fillet steak. Accompanying sauces range from anchovy butter to bone marrow gravy. My seafood platter, allegedly for one, was a veritable feast of fruits de mer including cockles, mussels, pan-fried calamari, seared scallops, king prawns, sashimi and oysters served over ice with homemade aioli. I would highly recommend this to all seafood-lovers, particularly those wanting to sample a range from the menu.

A testament to the tempting dessert menu, we instantly forgot how full the first two courses had left us and ordered refreshingly sharp lemon tart – a simple and perfectly executed classic – and the Jetty Sandwich. The latter was a decadent chocolate and peanut butter biscuit sandwiched with creamy coffee ice cream and marbled with chocolate sauce, both dark and light. We finished our desserts with ease and were promptly offered teas and coffees before departing.

Throughout our meal the team were charming and welcoming, presenting a united and efficient approach to hospitality, for which the Bristol Harbour Hotel is renowned.

Robbie Masters

Robbie's a creative Senior Editorial Assistant with a passion for writing, painting and, above all, eating.

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